Build Quality

Speaking candidly, Lenovo's internal design for the ThinkStation D30 may be at least somewhat competitive with HP's Z820's interior, but it's worlds behind Dell's Precision T7600. The design philosophy Dell rolled out with the T3600, T5600, and T7600 is probably the most thoughtful and detailed one I've seen in the workstations I've tested; Lenovo's interior in the D30 is comparably very staid and even a bit archaic in some respects.

For starters, the cable management is pretty poor for a system like this. For comparison's sake, below is the interior layout of the smaller Dell T3600. This isn't the most fair comparison since the D30 is a deeper case and has to support two processors, but I think the decisions involved in the design come across well enough.

Quite frankly, Dell's design is just cleaner. A lot of this owes to the modular power supply design they're using in their modern workstations; power supplies are designed to be easily removed and replaced out of the back of the case by the end user. Meanwhile, Lenovo's design still has a mess of cables spewing out of the back of the power supply. It's just sloppy, and worse, if the PSU goes, that's going to mean a tremendous amount of downtime.

Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption

Unfortunately HWMonitor flipped its lid trying to read the operating temperatures of the D30, but monitoring the system under load with AIDA64 revealed generally reasonable thermal performance. Noise was also for the most part a non-issue as it often is with these workstations, which is really impressive when you think about it. Lenovo was able to keep the noise level below the 30dB floor of my sound meter at idle, and then under load it peaked at a noticeable but still very tolerable 34.5dB from a foot away.

As for power consumption, it goes without saying that the D30 is going to be a bit of a monster. The combined rated wattage of the CPUs and GPU is 452W on its own, and that's ignoring the eight DIMMs and 15K-RPM mechanical hard drive.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption

It takes a lot of juice to sit at the top of the charts, but when you're pushing for as much raw performance as you can get (as you would with a system like this one), power consumption is really going to be a secondary concern.

Workstation Performance Conclusion: When is a Win Not Really a Win
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  • theduckofdeath - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    That is really not a clever thing to do, then you can just as well build the whole system yourself, because whenever you silk call the manufacturer for support they definitely will start the conversation with " start by removing all of those parts you bought from someone else, reinstall the whole thing, and then you call us back. Okay?" :-) Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    *would, not silk Reply
  • Haribol - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Honestly that is a rip off. If you shop around on sites like e@GAy etc..you will find a good deal. Why pay retail? I have seen systems for half the price Lenovo.com is selling them for. If you search for D30 you will see numerous systems, check it out if you are interested. And sometimes you can call the sellers and bargain. As long as they make some money they will sell it and it will be 30-50% off lenovo's website. I recently got a D30 and price was 50% cheaper then Lenovo's website. Same warranty and hardware on lenovo's website. The key is using your intelligence and shopping around. Generally regarding the warranty they will tell you to take off everything that didn't come with the system from the factory. Reply
  • Haribol - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Honestly that is a rip off. If you shop around on sites like e@GAy etc..you will find a good deal. Why pay retail? I have seen systems for half the price Lenovo.com is selling them for. If you search for D30 you will see numerous systems, check it out if you are interested. And sometimes you can call the sellers and bargain. As long as they make some money they will sell it and it will be 30-50% off lenovo's website. I recently got a D30 and price was 50% cheaper then Lenovo's website. Same warranty and hardware on lenovo's website. The key is using your intelligence and shopping around. Reply
  • Zink - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    quite Reply
  • rwei - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    16 cores? 32 threads? Dang.

    But then I read Johan's article.

    Man you just got one-UPPED.
    Reply
  • sna2 - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    actually you can make a 80 cores workstation today using 8x10 cores xeons thats 160 threads

    check supermicro X8OBN-F motherboard

    and X9QR7-TF
    Reply
  • Ozymankos - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    The system tested today is a standalone workstation and not a server to be used in a cluster or a supercomputer
    Therefore,it is less important to have user-serviceable power supply,as it is likely that this PSU will last for a long time for a single unit
    It has 2 octocore processors,with double the processing power of the similar Dell workstation/server
    Adn the price is only 50% higher ,so it is a good workstation for most people
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link


    Note that absolute CPU clock can have a major impact on Viewperf results, as I found out
    when testing a 5GHz 2700K with a Quadro 4000. See:

    http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/viewperf.txt

    In many cases it leaves the results given here in the dust (eg. 83.31 for LW, 16.63 for ProE).
    The reason is some of the tests are single threaded on the CPU side or so lightly threaded
    that a higher clock makes a huge difference. If you want to run ProE, then yes have a good
    GPU, but shove it in a consumer machine with a single good oc'd 4-core or 6-core i7 and
    it'll run much quicker than one of these OEM workstations. YMMV for other apps/tasks, but
    for Viewperf it's interesting how oodles of cores at a lower clock so often loses to just one
    4-core i7 at a high clock.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • sna2 - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    I really cant understand the pricing of workstations ...

    here is the same exact system self made ...

    1- SUPERMICRO X9DA7 (C602 with SAS and dual Lan and usb3 ) : 524$

    2-2x Intel Xeon E5-2687W : 2x1800$ : 3600$

    3- 8x2G exx Registered : 160$

    4- NVIDIA Quadro 5000 2.5GB GDDR5 : 1750$

    5- Seagate Savvio 15K.3 300GB : 350$

    6- DVD : 50$

    7- SeaSonic X-1250 1250W GOLD : 250$

    8- Windows 64 pro : 130 $

    9- best case 500$ worth

    total 7314$

    there is no justification whatsoever for 3000$ more !!!
    Reply

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